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Tying Up Loose Ends
by Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn is working toward National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist.

October 6, 2003

As I try to finish Entry Four, I re-read the criteria. One requires me to document my work with my students' families and with the community; to show ongoing, interactive, two-way communication during the current year. I begin to doubt if I will ever complete this entry. Although two of the three parts are ready for review, I can't finish it without this year's information. I decide to revamp my communication log to show the two-way communication that happens daily in my classroom. Now, I just need to begin documenting what I do for the community and parents this year.

This week, I also read through the criteria for videotaping. Each student has to have parental permission to appear in the video, so I had decided to get permission ahead of time. I didn't want to inadvertently include in a video a student who couldn't be taped. At Open House, I explained to the parents what I was doing, described the process, and asked them to sign the permission form. All but three parents completed the permission form that night; I'm still waiting for the others to return it to me. I'm optimistic that no one will have a problem; they all seemed fine with the idea when they found out it wasn't going to be put on the Internet.

To do:

  • Record communication with families and community.
  • Set up online discussion with parents.
  • Follow up on three missing release forms.
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Meet Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn, one of Education World's 2002-2003 teacher diarists, received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Rhode Island in May 1994. For the first two years of her teaching career, Stephanie worked as an enrichment specialist in the talent development program for the Westerly, Rhode Island, school district. For the past seven years, she has taught fourth grade at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly. Stephanie was awarded a 2002 National Educator Award by the Milken Family Foundation, in a program that provides recognizes elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education.

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